Connor McDavid is expected to miss five to six weeks with a fractured bone in his right hand.
The Erie Otters announced Wednesday their star forward fractured the fifth metacarpal bone in his right hand, but won’t require surgery.
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The projected top pick in the 2015 NHL Draft suffered the injury during Tuesday’s game against the Mississauga Steelheads in a fight with Bryson Cianfrone. As the two players were exchanging punches, McDavid’s right hand made contact with the edge of the boards near the glass. He was seen favouring his right hand immediately before going to the locker room.
The 17-year-old underwent x-rays Tuesday and saw a specialist in Toronto Wednesday where it was determined surgery wasn't necessary.
A big question now is whether or not McDavid will be ready for the world juniors, which begin approximately six weeks from now on Dec. 26; Team Canada's training camp is set to take place between Dec. 11-15 in Toronto. McDavid--who registered an astounding 16 goals, 35 assists in his first 18 games with the Otters this season--was considered a lock to make the team.
Team Canada coach Benoit Groulx told The Canadian Press that it's too early to make a decision on McDavid's status in the tournament, but Hockey Canada will remain in contact with the Otters and get updates on his status in the coming weeks.
"There is several weeks before world juniors, so it's too early to know," Groulx said. "We hope that he'll be able to be there, but I don't have that answer yet...Is this bad timing for Hockey Canada? It is. We'll see how it plays out."
Otters owner and general manager Sherry Bassin was disappointed to hear how long McDavid will be out.
"We kind of thought that there was a chance it would be like that. We were hoping they'd say four [weeks]," Bassin told The Canadian Press, while adding he's confident McDavid will represent Team Canada. "Let's be honest, he's one of the best players in the world. They're pulling for him. They want him to be ready, all of Canada wants him to be ready. The whole country that follows hockey wants Connor McDavid to be ready."
McDavid was also slated to represent the Ontario Hockey League in the Subway Super Series Thursday, but won't be able to participate.
Otters head coach Kris Knoblauch told Brady and Walker on Sportsnet 590 The Fan Wednesday that he doesn't want McDavid fighting in the future.
“We don’t want Connor doing it,” Knoblauch said. “Connor is a competitive person whose emotions are going to get to him sometimes. I’m not saying he acted badly, but he gets upset sometimes and sometimes that leads to a fight.”